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Original ringtones, troubleshooting Bluetooth, saving water-damaged phones, and more: Tech Q&A

Each week, I receive tons of questions from my listeners about tech concerns, new products, and all things digital.

Sometimes, choosing the most interesting questions to highlight is the best part of my job.

This week, I received questions about troubleshooting Bluetooth, saving water-damaged phones, how to make your own ringtones, and more.

Do you have a question you’d like to ask me?

Tap or click here to email me directly.

Make ringtones

Q: Is it possible to make your own ringtone? I want to know it’s my phone ringing and not a co-worker’s phone. Annoying!

A: The short answer is yes, you can make a custom ringtone. This makes perfect sense, since the ringtone file is so small, and sound manipulation is straightforward in a digital setting.

But most of us don’t customize our own; maybe it’s because many people don’t use ringtones, preferring to let the phone vibrate to announce an incoming call. Still, making your own ringtone is a really fun and creative idea, and you’re right about distinguishing your phone from all others. Tap or click here to create custom ringtones with a great and totally-free program.

Moving videos

Q: I loved when you spoke to the little girl with the robotic arms on your TV show. I want to share that inspirational interview with my family.

A: I am so glad you enjoyed that episode. It was particularly special to my staff and me as well. I’m so pleased to be able to bring inspirational stories like that to light; to answer your question, you can find Tilly on my YouTube channel.

Meanwhile, the best way to keep up with my TV appearances is to subscribe to this channel; you can even set alerts for when new videos are posted. Tilly is just one of many remarkable people we’ve had the chance to meet, and there’s a lot of exciting content on the horizon. Tap or click here to see the Tilly video and also subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Pair Bluetooth

Q: Sometimes my phone pairs but frequently not. How can I fix the Bluetooth, so it always works?

A: Bluetooth is definitely its own animal. Unlike Wi-Fi and cellphone data, Bluetooth has a comparatively weak signal, and its connectivity can be a little unpredictable. Don’t get me wrong, Bluetooth is very effective, and most compatible devices will work on the first try.

But there are a lot of things that could go wrong: You may forget to activate Bluetooth on both devices, or you may not have updated to the latest software. Incredibly, something as simple as a garage door opener could interfere with your Bluetooth signal. To troubleshoot your Bluetooth problems, there are many helpful techniques. Tap or click here for 15 ways to fix Bluetooth pairing issues.

Revive wet phone

Q: I heard you say that rice isn’t the best to use after your phone gets wet. What is it then?

A: That’s right. Sticking your phone in a bag of rice has been the prevailing wisdom for years, and many people swear by this technique. But the rice trick is quickly becoming an old wive’s tale; it doesn’t work as well as, say, silica gel. No matter how you do it, drying out your phone can be a days-long process, and you may ultimately find yourself investing in a new one, anyway.

The good news is that phones are becoming increasingly water-resistant, and the latest iPhone models, for example, boast the ability to be submerged in water for several minutes before risking serious damage. That doesn’t mean that they are invulnerable, only that your next phone is far less likely to need emergency drying, with rice or anything else. Tap or click here for my best advice on water-damaged phones.

Accelerate Windows

Q: My Windows PC is so slow. I cannot afford a new one. How can I speed the old grey mare up?

A: Windows-based computers have always been versatile, but they are also infamous for slowing down over time. Usually, this is due to cluttered files and forgotten background tasks that eat up your memory. You can probably dig into your hard drive and manually remove programs that you know you’ll never use.

But you also run the risk of illuminating files that seem useless but are required for your computer to run. What you need is a separate program, preferably free, that can analyze your computer and recommend files and programs that are ripe for deletion. Luckily, it exists, and its name is UninstallView. And it doesn’t cost you anything. Tap or click here to learn more about UninstallView.

What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call Kim’s national radio show and tap or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to or watch the Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, television or computer. Or, tap or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.

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